It organizations are often occupied with various manual tasks, which need time to implement. Tasks are like storage administration, software installation and virtual machine provisioning, those are repetitive but very important to perform. Erroring prone and manual tasks include particular process steps which could be automated, it is the best solution for IT organizations to automate their applications related tasks and their systems in a ServiceNow environment. We may automate complex and simple tasks on applications, servers, remote services, hardware, etc. It interacts with the hosted services and elements outside the ServiceNow environment, so that automation ensures compliance and security.
Orchestration helps the organization to manage and automate the tasks, they provide reusable data which we may use in workflow. As it provides a version for teams to collaborate and also activities through which we can connect to applications, incase if it does not provide the desired activity, we can design custom activities by using templates in orchestration activity designer. Servicenow orchestration allows you to use a combination of custom activities and pre-built for building the workflow. Orchestration can connect to any system which exposes web services and any system that can be accessed from the command line, It also interacts with the system that can be accessed by SFTP.
Applications of Orchestration
It provides various applications in our base subscription; they are.
- Client software distributor: Administrators may distribute the software which is available in service catalogues, you can design records for deploying catalogues items and software models. It allows us to automate the revocation and deployment of software with the help of system center configuration management activity pack, it also provides lease periods for distributed software and later allows extensions too. By using it, you can integrate CSD with software assets management to get license counts for deployed software.
- Orchestration ROI: You may estimate and compute cost saving for tasks which are running in your system, after the automation of the task you can track the price savings for each and every run. It even provides hourly rates of the performed tasks. It calculates the price by multiplying the price of performing the repetitive tasks manually, along with the number of times the system carries out the task, that shows the information in the form of reports. They provide information like summaries, estimated price and actual calculated price for the automated processes.
- Orchestration domain separation: The domain is a logical group, with that we can separate data, processes and administrative tasks. Then we can assign customers to these domains, we can also control who access which data and basic subscriptions include domain separation. Service provider is used to create the processes per customer, then a number of customers can properly use the application in the single instance. Its owner needs to configure business logic which gives access for specific tenants to an application.
- Activity packs of orchestration: It provides a lot of activity packs which helps in building your workflow.
- Active directory of orchestration: In the windows active directory, we can manage, create and delete the objects, and reset a user's password on users request automatically. Your instance needs access to an MID server configured to use PowerShell, to run these activities.
- Azure active directory: It allows the automation of tasks like employee off-boarding functions on Azure, we also have a chance to add or remove users to the active directory, remove and assign office 365 licenses for customers.
- Orchestration exchange: With the help of it, we can manage Microsoft exchange Mail system, it enables PowerShell remoting on the target exchange server. These activities are used To connect with Microsoft Exchange online.
- SFFP: SFFP server is used to manage files and directories on it; files can be moved from one file to another. It is used to set conditions and specify the order where the files should be moved.
- Infoblox DDI activity pack: Infoblox DDI can manage through this activity pack and the IP addresses of a network are managed by integrating DNS.
- F5 network management activity pack: the element of an F5 Load Balancer is configured. Pools, pool members and the virtual servers of pools are managed by using these activities.
- SSH: All the activities of SSH are performed, you may read, write and copy the files from one to another. You may even compare two files on unix servers.
- PowerShell: Windows machines and applications are automated, you can add a Windows system to the domain and install the application from the MSI package.
- System center configuration manager: It helps to deploy software from a host using the activity pack.
- Orchestration Activating in ServiceNow: First we need an Orchestration subscription, purchase a subscription that we need to contact the servicenow account manager. We need to follow the below steps to evaluate on a production without instance charge. It opens your instance, then goes to System definition and then goes to plugins. We will get an application page, to open new requests click on request plugins. Then click on take me to HI services portal activate plugin service catalog and get an activating plugin request form.
- It provides an instance name on which you want to activate the plugin and specify the name of the date, plugin, and time to enable the plugin. We can give additional information in the comments section, click on submit and wait for a few days to get subscriptions that are activated on your instances.
Working of Orchestration
When the activity starts within a workflow orchestration starts the process of launching a probe and writing its record to the ECC quine. Its workflow pauses the MID server that picks up the request and executes the probe. But when the probe reports back, the workflow resumes as results are analyzed. It can exit or continue at this point. Its activities are basic orchestration activities, SSH activities, active directory activities, VM ware activities, Amazon EC2 activities, PowerShell activities, puppet, chef activities and exchange activities, and explanation of servicenow workflow and activities.
This course is designed to provide basic skills required to servicenow administrators for effectively build and extended workflow, to interact with external system through orchestration. At the end we are able to understand and identify the components of orchestration and its basic architecture, to build simple orchestration workflow to manage windows via PowerShell, how to utilize orchestration to query online REST API, and to manage active directory users and password reset through orchestration workflow. System administrators who need to built automation as processes to streamline tasks and produce fast and predictable result are eligible to attend this course of certification.
It has some prerequisites. They are like servicenow system administration required, certified system administration recommended, three to six months building workflow in servicenow are needed, scripting and equivalent knowledge in servicenow is also strongly needed.
Benefits of servicenow orchestration
The following are the benefits of using servicenow orchestration.
Increase agility: You may automate routine, manual, and error prone tasks, which produce fast results and increase service availability and speedup the resolutions time.
Accelerate time to value: Orchestration provides many pre built activities, ready to use orchestration applications, that decrease the time to build workflow. And the IT organizations can allocate more time to provide strategic value solutions.
Grow and measure value: Orchestration offers ROI calculator, with which we can measure benefits then focus on areas where the business gains the value that provide native integration with servicenow IT cloud. We can create predictable results, which can build workflows that can fallback on humans when needed.
Saves money: we can decrease overall IT price and decide to use the budget towards innovative new projects.
Minimizing team interactions: IT teams collaboration is certainly important, but it may also provide friction into processes. Certain processes of orchestration can minimize this friction among teams.
Increase productivity: We can work on projects which require human thoughts, skills and decision making instead of using human power on rote tasks.
Standardizing workflow and products: The products and processes across the spectrum which means your products are reliable and your organizations will come to be seen this way.
Improving employee experience: Those who spend their time on more creative and challenging tasks that can be automated more likely to appreciate their work environment.
Orchestration tools: IT organizations bring complex challenges and deployments. We need to deal with clustered applications, private, public and applications with complex dependencies. We require a tool that can orchestrate processes simply and ensures the tasks happen in the proper order. It can be used to provision which assigns storage capacity and creative virtual machines among other tasks, it is providing various tools which can help you with cloud orchestration. It eliminates various processes that involve deployment and scaling containerized applications, and manage services that are available for containers.
It automates the business and IT organizations processes for operations management, which include the password reset and activity packs to improve production that automate and accelerate processes. It tracks and measures the ROI and identifies the areas where automation becomes most beneficial to your company.
Orchestration is available as an extension for servicenow workflow designer, that is under a separate subscription from the rest of the platforms. It is a part of the servicenow platform which leverages the features of the servicenow platform. It also provides, drags and drops the built-in activities which are from the activities palette to the workflow canvas, to build powerful automation. The companies like AT and T, cloudation, ato, are using servicenow orchestration for their business automation processes. It is used for remote services and applications and the process may overcome all management rules and with hosted services and architecture elements. Those options will provide an advanced system for handling IT organizations.
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